Posted November 11, 2016

October sales flat for Grainger

Grainger reported daily sales were flat in October of 2016 versus October of 2015, driven by a 1 percentage point increase in volume offset by a 1 percent decline in price.

The month of October 2016 had 21 selling days, one fewer than the previous year. The 2016 fourth quarter will have 63 selling days, one fewer than the 2015 fourth quarter.

Sales in the United States declined by 1 percent, while sales in Canada were down 15 percent (13 percent in local currency.

Sales to Grainger's Other Businesses segment were up 15 percent.

In a separate announcement, Grainger summarized comments made at the company's annual analyst meeting in Lake Forest, Illinois. DG Macpherson, Grainger chief executive officer, hosted the event. 

"Over the past several years, we have invested to position our business for long-term success and meet the evolving needs of our customers," said  Macpherson. He added, "We are leveraging these investments to provide unique value to customers of all types and sizes. And, we expect to enhance our industry-leading customer experience by making our pricing simpler and more relevant to drive faster growth and stronger share gain in our U.S. business for a broader set of customers. We expect that these actions, along with continued reductions in our cost structure and a turn-around of our business in Canada, will improve our financial performance and strengthen returns to shareholders," Macpherson concluded.

For the 2016 fourth quarter, the company is forecasting sales of -1 to 3 percent and expects earnings per share of $2.27 to $2.57.

For the full year 2016, the company reiterated its sales forecast of 1.5 to 2.5 percent and earnings per share guidance of $11.40 to $11.70.

For the full year 2017, the company is forecasting sales growth of 2 to 6 percent and earnings per share of $11.30 to $12.40.